The first few days of our ESSAM course have been relatively intense. There’s a large contingent of Australians, quite a few Americans, some Canadians a few from the UK and greater Europe. ANd then two token South Africans! It’s a really mixed bag of backgrounds too (we have an undertaker!) and as a whole, I feel the class is somewhat younger than the one back home. People are also at various stages in their MBAs too which adds another layer to individuals experience.
I arrived on the Saturday, a day early and met up with a few people from the course who were also there early and we headed into town for a beer and some supper. Aarhus is Denmark’s second city (and principle port). It’s a surprisingly small city with only ~300,000 people. That’s about the same as PE’s metropolitan area, not including places like Dispatch etc. I was surprised! Then again, I suppose the whole country only has 5.5million people (1/10th the population of South Africa) so a city of 300k is fairly large, relatively speaking.
The conference centre (or The Bunker as it has been nicknamed thanks to it’s construction almost entirely out of concrete with green gardens of the roof) is not actually located at Aarhus University itself; it’s actually about a 15min bus ride to the south of the city in a really beautiful area. There’s a large forest right outside and if you walk far enough you’ll get to the beach.
Everyone started arriving on Sunday afternoon and on Sunday evening we had a wonderful welcome dinner. The food has consistently been fantastic; we’ve been so spoilt! On Monday evening we went off to the city to the Town Hall where we were addressed by someone from the Mayor’s office. It was quite nice to have some snacks and nibbles before coming home again.
The only thing I’ve really struggled with is the lack of darkness. The sun doesn’t set till after 11pm and rises again around 4am. There have been several mornings when I’ve woken in a panic thinking I’ve overslept and missed breakfast and lectures only to check the time and see that it’s only 4:45am!
On Wednesday evening we headed off to the ARos Art Museum. The museum is most famous for the installation on the roof ”Your Rainbow Panorama” as well as an enormous sculpture called “Boy“. We were given a guided tour which was very interesting but I’m afraid that kind of ‘art’ just leaves me cold. I guess I just don’t understand it; but I don’t see the point of a piece called “mmmm’ which is a 2m long fake pebble in a tank of water, with the artists face projected onto it, holding his breath. Artists are weird*. There was a very interesting room full of mirrors which was quite good fun and reminded me a lot of Barbours as I wrote in this post.
We climbed up and up and up. The museum itself is actually a very pretty building.
Eventually we reached the roof and strolled around the panorama. Its quite a weird feeling moving through the different sections. The reds and oranges were all on the side of the setting sun (it was about 9pm by now!) which only accentuated both the sunset and the colours.
A new friend Darren then lent me his wide angle lens. That was fun!
The clouds were especially cooperative that evening…
We got home around 10:30pm and I headed straight off to bed.
*So are scientists. Weird doesn’t mean not good. Weird is just weird.